2012 Resolutions

Information is taken from the 2012 Report Card on the Resolutions.

Resolution 1-12: Alberta Rat Control Program

Resolution 2-12: Promoting Alberta’s Rat Free Status

Resolution 3-12: Richardson Ground Squirrel Control

Resolution 4-12: Wild Board Eradication Initiative

WITHDRAWN Resolution 5-12: Clubroot Prevention and Agricultural Pests Act

Resolution 6-12: Requiring Seed Cleaning Plants to Test for Fusarium

Resolution 7-12: Herbicide Selection for Noxious Weed Control on Acreages

Resolution 8-12: 2011 Provincial Enforcement of the Weed Act

Resolution 9-12: Requiring Labelling of Flower Seed Mixes with all Species Present

Resolution 10-12: Request for Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD) to Take a More Forceful Approach to the Selling of Noxious and Prohibited Noxious Weeds at Greenhouses and Plant Retailers

Resolution 11-12: Cessation of Fresh Water Us by Oil and Gas Industry

DEFEATED Resolution 12-12: Sale of Sustainable Resource Development Lease Land

Resolution 13-12: Liability on Sustainable Resource Development Lease Lands

DEFEATED Resolution 14-12: Short Term Solid Manure Storage

Resolution 15-12: Recycling Program for Agricultural Plastics

Resolution 16-12: Funding for Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA) Member Groups

Resolution E1-12: Agricultural Pests Act Review

Resolution E2-12: Compound 1080 Review by Pest Management Regulatory Agency

Regional Resolution South: Special Areas Water Supply Project

Regional Resolution Peace: AFSC Seeding Intention Dates

Resolution 1-12: Alberta Rat Control Program

WHEREAS Alberta has been considered a Rat-Free province due to the effectiveness of the Provincial Rat Control Program and the partnering border municipalities which has proven to be a major Alberta advantage nationally as well as globally;

WHEREAS Alberta has been considered a Rat-Free province due to the effectiveness of the Provincial Rat Control Program and the partnering border municipalities which has proven to be a major Alberta advantage nationally as well as globally;

WHEREAS municipalities have received Rat calls, that turn out to be improperly deposed of dead rats that have been found at landfills, garbage bin sites and dogs have retrieved rat carcasses from neighboring yards;

WHEREAS Alberta has had isolated rat infestations within the last year and Alberta’s Rat-Free status could be called into question if these animals are continually allowed to be brought in for pet food, giving the public the perception that we are not actually rat free;

WHEREAS the Province needs to maintain all of its Alberta advantages and must ensure the continuation of an effective Rat Control Program thus retaining its Rat-Free status;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development ban the possession, sales, and imports of dead Norway rats for the purpose of pet food.

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: Regulatory Services Division

Section 11 of the Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation applies. This Section currently states:

Permit to purchase, keep or sell rats

11(1) The Minister may, on application in writing, issue a permit in the form set out in Form 6 allowing a person who operates a research facility or zoo or an inspector to purchase, keep or sell live rats if the facility where the rats are to be kept meets the minimum standards required by the Minister. (2) A person shall not purchase, keep or sell live rats unless the person holds a permit issued under subsection (1).

11(1) The Minister may, on application in writing, issue a permit in the form set out in Form 6 allowing a person who operates a research facility or zoo or an inspector to purchase, keep or sell live rats if the facility where the rats are to be kept meets the minimum standards required by the Minister. (2) A person shall not purchase, keep or sell live rats unless the person holds a permit issued under subsection (1).

The purpose of this legislation is to prevent the establishment of a pest (rat) infestation in Alberta. Dead pests (rats) pose no risk in this regard and likely can’t be declared a pest at any rate. Pest Surveillance Branch is currently conducting a regulatory review of the Act and following completion of that the regulations. This should be sent to that branch for inclusion with the review so that it is addressed at that time. Legal opinions from Alberta Justice would be required. The finding of dead rats used for reptile food has occurred in the past but this is not a significant problem.

Grade: Accept in Principle

Comments

ASBs are concerned with the use of frozen rats as pet food because of the time it takes to investigate when one of these rats is found because it is virtually impossible to determine the state the rat was in, frozen as pet food or alive, when they are found. It can take up to two days to properly investigate and determine if it was a frozen pet food rat or not. This causes hardships for the municipalities and it would be helpful it dead rats were prohibited for use as pet food under the Agricultural Pests Act Regulation.

Concern was also raised about how and where people were able to purchase rats for pet food. ASBs want assurance that rats are not being raised to be used as pet food in Alberta. They feel that if dead rats continue to be allowed as pet food, then systems should be put into place to track and monitor the suppliers of these animals. ASBs also feel that there are other sources of pet food for snakes and other reptiles that could be used without any consequence to the health of these animals.

Lastly, ASBs are also concerned that people who find these rats will get the perception that the province is not rat free. The outbreak of rats in Medicine Hat has significantly raised awareness of this issue and many Albertans are now questioning Alberta’s rat free status. ASBs want to restore Albertan’s confidence that the province is rat free and feel that not allowing frozen rats as pet food will assist them in that effort.

Resolution 2-12: Promoting Alberta’s Rat Free Status

WHEREAS Alberta has the distinction of being one of the few places in the world that is rat free;

WHEREAS as time goes on residents of Alberta may not be as aware as they once were that this is a rat free province;

WHEREAS residents may not be aware that they can and should report rat sightings or to whom they should be reporting a sighting to;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development allocate additional resources to the education of the public on the rat control program that exists in the province.

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: Regulatory Services Division

ARD and specifically RSD has now dedicated one full time employee, Phil Merrill to the new position of “Alberta Rat and Pest Specialist” for the Province effective April 16th, 2012. This position will be responsible for the “Rat Control Program” and will be dedicated to the coordination, education of the program and related research on infestation control and toxicant use. As such I believe this issue has been or is being addressed.

Grade: Accept the Response

Comments

ASBs were pleased to learn that Phil Merrill has accepted the position of Rat and Pest Specialist for the province. Phil has a lot of experience and ASBs are looking forward to seeing how the role evolves.

ASBs feel that this is a positive step and that there is potential for more to be done. ASBs commented that education and awareness, especially in urban areas, need to be a large component of this position. ASBs also felt that there may be a need to have a second Rat and Pest Specialist dedicated for the north half of the province.

Resolution 3-12: Richardson Ground Squirrel Control

WHEREAS the 2008-2011 Emergency Registration of 2% Strychnine has proven effective in managing the large Richardson Ground Squirrel populations;

WHEREAS the Richardson Ground Squirrel Populations have decreased in several regions of the province because of the ability for producers to utilize Strychnine;

WHEREAS permanent registration will allow proactive management and control of RGS infestations instead of reacting to situations when they are out of control;

WHEREAS there is still no other product available that is as effective as 2% Liquid Strychnine;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada permanently register 2% Liquid Strychnine for Richardson Ground Squirrel control, until there is a new product proven to be as effective as 2% Liquid Strychnine available to producers.

Status: Provincial

Response

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The responsibility for the registration and regulation of pesticides in Canada falls under the jurisdiction of Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act and Regulations.

It is my understanding that on February 23, 2012, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency granted registration to several 2 percent liquid strychnine concentrate formulations for use to control Richardson’s ground squirrels.

Health Canada: Pest Management Regulatory Agency

The PMRA granted full registration of 2% Liquid Strychnine Concentrate on 23 February 2012. Health Canada is a participant in a working group with stakeholders, including grower groups, provincial extension specialists, researchers and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to find alternative solutions to the Richardson’s ground squirrel infestation in Alberta. Efforts should continue to ensure that new alternative technologies and integrated pest management strategies are available to users as soon as possible.

Grade: Accept the Response

Comments

ASBs were pleased that PMRA permanently re-registered 2% liquid strychnine in 2012. They thanked the Province and PMRA for trusting ASBs to administer the program responsibly to allow their producers access to 2% liquid strychnine as they felt that Richardson Ground Squirrel (RGS) populations were still significant in parts of the province and strychnine was a needed tool to control them.

ASBs also commented that it seemed like there was a shortage of product this year. Several municipalities were only able to receive approximately half of what had been ordered. The manufacturers have been telling them that there is currently no raw product available to make the concentrate. The ASB Provincial Committee will monitor this situation over the next year and determine if any further action needs to be taken to remedy the shortages.

Resolution 4-12: Wild Boar Eradication Initiative

WHEREAS the population of Wild Boar on the loose as a pest in Alberta continues to grow in spite of random hunting and bounties;

WHEREAS live Trapping or (pen hunting) has proven to be an effective method of eliminating sizeable herds in Red Deer and in Counties to the North West;

WHEREAS the ROI (return on investment) at this early intervention date is 1:100. Statistics prove that eliminating a pest before it becomes wide spread and established is the most cost effective. (see attached);

WHEREAS the potential is to have a US situation with 2- 6,000,000 hogs in 44 states that cost $800,000,000 per yr. on property and crop damage;

WHEREAS damage in the US has taken the form of 27,000 auto accidents, predation of sheep, cattle, goats, chickens, the destruction of crops, gardens, and carrying disease, up- setting natural environmental balances, water quality and riparian areas;

WHEREAS the Provincial Government hired a Professional Pest Control company to rid the Province of rats in the 1950’s. The Alberta Rat Program is proof that pests can be controlled. (other than the N and S poles Alberta is, “the only place in the World,” that is rat free). Alberta now has a chance to be wild boar free;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST Alberta Agriculture initiate a “Provincial Strategy,” for a controlled “Live Trapping Program” run by professional trappers to eradicate Wild Boar as a Pest in Alberta.

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: Regulatory Services Division

Background: In 2008, wild boar were declared to be a pest when at large anywhere in Alberta. The primary control measure subsequently implemented for the purpose of reducing their numbers, with a view to eventual eradication, was that of a bounty. Pursuant to a funding agreement entered into between Agriculture and Rural Development and agricultural service boards (AgService Board), a payment of $50 is made to each person who turns in, to the AgService Board, a pair of wild boar ears. To date, payments have been made for just over 400 pairs of ears.

In response, Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) is in the early stages of developing a regulation aimed primarily at the identification and containment of farmed wild boar. In November 2011 RSD implemented a working group to start this process of developing a new Wild Boar Regulation and a discussion paper seeking feedback from stakeholders has been completed. RSD views the approach to this problem as a two stage process by first developing a regulation to stop the escape of farmed boars and then secondly enhancing or developing a program to eradicate the wild boar.

Grade: Incomplete

Comments

ASBs feel that the response did not address the resolution. The resolution asked the province to initiate a provincially run “live trapping” program. The response to the resolution focused on the current wild boar ear bounty program in place and work that is ongoing to identify and contain wild boars. While ASBs appreciate the efforts that ARD is making towards identification and containment, they do not feel that this response addresses the resolution as it currently stands. ASBs would like to see an update on the work that is being done towards the identification and containment regulation. They see this as an important component in assisting ASBs but feel that this is only part of the solution for controlling wild boar in the province. They also feel that the Province has been working on this regulation for a long time and that work needs to be completed soon so that it can be implemented.

Resolution 5-12: Clubroot Prevention and Agricultural Pests Act

WITHDRAWN AT THE 2012 ASB PROVINCIAL CONFERENCE

WHEREAS well informed land owners who can make decisions regarding equipment access to their land;

WHEREAS well informed energy, utility and public service sectors regarding the impact of equipment sanitation on spread of Clubroot and other economically important diseases;

WHEREAS improved legal instruments under the Agricultural Pests Act to enable land owners to more effectively deter soil spread onto their land;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development strengthen the Pest Control Act to set penalties for contraventions of the act and to provide rural municipalities the authority to trace back suspected contaminated implements or vehicles in order to achieve more accountability regarding equipment sanitation

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development convey to appropriate other ministries a request to take vehicle and equipment sanitation precautions with government equipment and to provide Clubroot information to relevant industry organizations within the oil, gas, utility, wildlife, environment and other appropriate sectors

Resolution 6-12: Requiring Seed Cleaning Plants to Test for Fusarium

WHEREAS Fusarium graminearum is a pest listed under the Agricultural Pests Act;

WHEREAS seed cleaning plants are an area where seed from many producers comes together in one place and comes into contact with the same equipment;

WHEREAS there is currently no legislated requirement for seed cleaning plants to obtain a fusarium free certificate prior to cleaning the seed;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that all seed cleaning plants including mobile plants be required to obtain a certificate from the producer, for each lot of seed to be cleaned, verifying that the seed is free of Fusarium graminearum, prior to accepting the seed into the plant for cleaning.

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: Pest Surveillance Branch

Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) has taken numerous steps to communicate to Alberta Seed Cleaning Plants about the importance of requiring a test for Fusarium graminearum (Fg). Staff from the Pest Surveillance Branch annually give a presentation at a training day for Seed Plant Managers and there have been numerous meetings with the Association of Alberta Co-op Seed Cleaning Plants to discuss this issue.

Communication between the Agricultural Fieldman and the local Seed Cleaning Plant is the best way to ensure that mangers and their Boards understand the importance of preventing the spread of Fg in their municipality. The same can also occur with private and mobile seed cleaning plants.

As a last resort, a pest inspector can always go into a local seed cleaning plant, request samples and have them tested for the presence of Fg. If Fg is found, then a notice can be issued to stop the plant from operating until it complies with the notice.

Grade: Accept in Principle

Comments

ASBs feel that the Province needs to provide stronger leadership and assistance to them on this issue. They feel that the Province has been negligent in their duties to enforce their own Act and “downloaded” their responsibilities onto the municipalities.

ASBs would like the Province to appoint Provincial Inspectors to assist them in doing enforcement work with seed cleaning plants. These inspectors must be given the mandate to be able to come with a municipal inspector to do the inspections, issue notices and enforce on those notices.

ASBs would also like to see stronger regulations put in place that require all Seed Cleaning Plants to have a certificate for all seed lots that shows that the seed is Fusarium free prior to entering the plant. ASBs are aware that there is a lot of diversity between the Seed Cleaning Plants and that there is disagreement among the Seed Cleaning Plants regarding this issue. A regulation requiring all Seed Cleaning Plants to have a certificate indicating the seed is free of Fusarium would equalize the plants and mitigate the current concern that if one plant requires testing and another doesn’t, the first plant will lose business.

ASBs and municipalities will require assistance and stronger leadership from the Province in order to be able to effectively stop the spread of Fusarium in Alberta.

Resolution 7-12: Herbicide Selection for Noxious Weed Control on Acreages

WHEREAS the acreage community has grown significantly in rural Alberta presenting increased challenges with weed management, especially on the agricultural pasture portions of the acreages;

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta, Environmental Code Of Practice For Pesticides, Section 17, under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act restricts the choices of herbicide for “Acreage and Hobby Greenhouse Use” ;

WHEREAS the list of herbicides listed under Section 17 are ineffective on many species of Prohibited Noxious and Noxious weeds and more related to turf than agricultural use;

WHEREAS the list of herbicides are either not registered for range and pasture or carry grazing restrictions when applied on acreage pastures;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that Alberta Environment Pesticide Management Branch review the Environmental Code of Practice for Pesticides with the outcome of making additional herbicides available for effective weed control on acreage pastures.

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Environment and Water

Alberta Environment and Water implemented Section 17 of the Environmental Code of Practice for Pesticides to enable acreage owners to obtain limited access to commercial (available only to certified applicators and farmers) products that had comparable domestic product registrations, such as turf maintenance products. It was not intended to provide broad access to commercial products for a wide spectrum of uses. The control of “noxious” and “prohibited noxious” weeds for range and pastures falls outside of the intent of Section 17.

Large acreage owners have the option to take the Farmer Pesticide Certification Program which will provide them with the knowledge and safety considerations required for using commercial products. Alberta Environment and Water is prepared to review this issue with the Agricultural Service Boards in conjunction with product manufacturers and Health Canada, who have jurisdiction over product registration, safety and label instructions.

Grade: Accept in Principle

Comments

ASBs feel that acreage owners should be able to access an increased list of herbicides for weed control but that acreage owners would require some sort of certification. ASBs recommend that a certification be developed specifically for acreage owners or the current Farmers Pesticide Certificate Course be expanded to allow acreage owners access to a broader range of herbicides.

ASBs feel that there needs to be continued work on this initiative and encourages Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD), Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD), ASBs and the Association of Alberta Agricultural Fieldmen (AAAF) to work together to develop appropriate solutions.

Resolution 8-12: 2011 Provincial Enforcement of the Weed Act

WHEREAS Prohibited Noxious and Noxious weeds listed on the new Alberta Weed Control Act are being sold online, by flower shops, and by nurseries and greenhouses;

WHEREAS online, web sites and mail orders are selling Prohibited Noxious and Noxious weeds that maybe ordered into Alberta;

WHEREAS other provinces, states and countries are unaware of our weed act and continue to export into Alberta;

WHEREAS there is no formal Check at customs for weeds and weed seeds, as there is entering the USA;

WHEREAS the large portion of Alberta municipalities ASB budgets are focused on weed control and at the same time retail and customs are allowing these invasive plants into Alberta;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST the Province of Alberta enhance enforcement measures of the new Alberta Weed Control Act at the retail level, as well as enforcing importation restrictions of weeds and weed seeds from other provinces and countries.

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: Pest Surveillance Branch

The Pest Surveillance Branch (PSB) has for the past three years sent a letter to all retail nurseries and greenhouses in Alberta informing them of the new Weed Control Act and the list of prohibited noxious and noxious weeds. They are informed of their obligations under the Act and asked to not import these plants and to destroy any plants they may have.

As for online retailers and seed catalogues selling into Alberta, the PSB will be sending them a letter asking them to include a comment in their catalogues that plants on Alberta’s prohibited noxious list are illegal to grow in Alberta.

Grade: Unsatisfactory

Comments

ASBs feel that the Province needs to take stronger leadership on enforcement and do more than send letters to the retailers, greenhouses and urban municipalities. They feel that letters are educational in nature and that it is now time to start doing enforcement. Questions were raised about the effectiveness of these letters and who is doing follow up to see that the Weed Control Act is being complied with. ASBs want the Province to appoint provincial weed inspectors who are designated to do inspections and that have authority to issue notices and conduct enforcement. Provincial inspectors would also be critical in educating municipalities, retailers and greenhouse operators in urban settings about the Weed Control Act and their associated responsibilities. Provincial inspectors are needed to ensure that the Weed Control Act is being complied with consistently across the province.

ASBs also stress the importance of restricting the importation of prohibited noxious and noxious plant species in all forms. ARD needs to work with the online and catalogue retailers and ensure that they are not selling these species into the Alberta. All retailers need to be contacted and a consistent message from the Province needs to be sent.

Resolution 9-12: Requiring labelling of flower seed mixes with all species present

WHEREAS the Seeds Regulations administered by the Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requires all flower seed mixes to have all species included on a label;

WHEREAS the Weed Control Act of the Province of Alberta prohibits the spread of noxious and prohibited noxious weed seeds;

WHEREAS current flower seed mixes are not labeled with the list of seeds present within;

WHEREAS enforcement of the Weed Control Act prohibiting the spread of noxious and prohibited noxious weeds is effectively compromised by the lack of labeling of flower seed mixes;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD) work with CFIA to ensure that labeling requirements pertaining to flower seed and bird seed for feed mixes are enforced, and further, that Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, under the Weed Control Act, require all noxious and prohibited noxious weeds be reported on flower seed mixes.

Status: Provincial

Response

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Seeds Act and Regulations set out standards and labeling requirements for seed sold in Canada. The Weed Seeds Order classifies weed species of concern within a number of categories, including a list of prohibited noxious weed species. The Seeds Regulations require all seed in Canada to be free from prohibited noxious weed seeds.
Flower seed mixtures are required to be labelled with the name of each kind or species of seed comprising the mixture. Furthermore, all seed, including wildflower seed mixtures, must be accompanied by a seed analysis certificate and an import declaration at the time of import.

The purity of seed sold in Canada and its compliance with the Seeds Regulations are monitored through marketplace sampling and testing and through label reviews, as well as through import conformity assessments and inspections for imported seed.

The Canada Food Inspection Agency’s Seed Section would be pleased to work with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development to address any concerns it may have regarding industry compliance with labelling requirements for flower seed mixtures.
I trust that this information satisfies the requests from the Agricultural Service Board. Thank you for your interest in these matters.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: Pest Surveillance Branch

As mentioned in your Resolution, flower seed packages are regulated by the Federal Seeds Act and Seeds Regulation. The Act does not require seed packages under 50 grams to be labelled for contents.

Agriculture and Rural Development will consult with CFIA to discuss this issue and attempt to come up with a solution acceptable to both parties.

Grade: Unsatisfactory

Comments

ASBs feel that all seed packages, including packages under 50 grams, must include a list of all species contained within the mix. Any packages that contain any species on the provincial or federal prohibited noxious or noxious lists should not be allowed for sale in the Province. ASBs understand that there are currently different labelling requirements for seed but would like to encourage the federal and provincial governments to work together to come up with a more harmonized and consistent system for labelling seed and bird seed packages.

The response from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) indicates that they are willing to work with CFIA and come up with an acceptable solution. ASBs strongly encourage ARD to work with CFIA and develop more stringent labelling requirements. The recommendation has been made that this issue should be taken to the Alberta Weed Regulatory Advisory Committee (AWRAC) for discussion.

Resolution 10-12: Request for Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD) to take a more forceful approach to the selling of noxious and prohibited noxious weeds at greenhouses and plant retailers

WHEREAS greenhouses and other plant retailers currently sell noxious and prohibited noxious weeds believing them to be ornamentals;

WHEREAS noxious and prohibited noxious weeds threaten the biodiversity of Alberta’s native vegetation and negatively impact agricultural crops by competing with desired vegetation and adding significant costs of control to the producer;

WHEREAS Alberta Agriculture, as the regulator of the Weed Control Act is uniquely positioned to send a more forceful, ongoing educational message to the greenhouse/plant retail industry, thereby strengthening the ASBs’ ability to enforce the Weed Control Act;

WHEREAS Alberta has achieved excellent success in the prohibition of the sale of rats through extensive education and enforcement;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development continue to show leadership and direction through developing a suitable forceful, ongoing educational program that will ensure the onus for compliance with the Weed Control Act rests with the greenhouses and other plant retailers, not with the ASBs to ensure control

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that the Regulatory Services Division of AARD participate in enforcing the prohibition of the sale of noxious and prohibited noxious weeds, as they do with the Provincial Rat Control Program.

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: Pest Surveillance Branch Response

As mentioned in Resolution 8, the Pest Surveillance Branch (PSB) has for the past three years sent a letter to all retail nurseries and greenhouses in Alberta informing them of the new Weed Control Act (WCA) and the list of prohibited noxious and noxious weeds. They are informed of their obligations under the Act and asked to not import or sell these plants and to destroy any plants they may have on hand.

Enforcement of the WCA is delegated to the local authority and as such it is their responsibility to ensure that any greenhouses and plant retailers operating within their municipal boundaries are complying with the Act. If assistance is required in dealing with a retailer, then the PSB will assist as needed.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: Regulatory Services Division

It is our understanding that the Pest Surveillance Branch (PSB) has also been sent this request and we feel that they are in a better position to respond to this resolution. PSB is responsible for ensuring that the Weed Control Act is properly enforced in the province. Regulatory Services Division (RSD) investigators could possibly provide assistance into investigations under the Weed Control Act when requested. RSD’s responsibility is for vertebrate pests designated under the Agricultural Pests Act and associated regulation.

Grade: Unsatisfactory

Comments

ASBs feel that letters are not adequate for enforcement purposes. Letters are an education tool and not an enforcement tool. ASBs want the Province to take a stronger leadership role in doing enforcement in the retailers and greenhouses as most of them are located in urban municipalities that tend to have weak programs for enforcing the Weed Control Act. Provincial inspectors need to be appointed that have authority to do inspections, issue notices and do enforcement of the Act. These inspectors should be able to travel and randomly complete inspections and enforcement at greenhouses and other plant retailers to ensure that they are in compliance with the Act.

The Province also needs to ensure that there are regulations and restrictions in place on the importation and sale of plants.

Resolution 11-12: Cessation of fresh water use by oil and gas industry

WHEREAS there is concern about the enormous waste of fresh water (see Reference1) by the oil and gas industry in the hydrofracturing and water injection processes (see Reference 7 and 8);

WHEREAS injection of 32 million cubic meters of fresh water is permanently removed from the aquatic cycle (see Member Background);

WHEREAS free and easy access to fresh water for Enhanced Oil Recovery acts as a disincentive for oil and gas companies to pursue alternate methods such as C02 injection, light oil fracturing or to drill deeper to locate and pipe non-potable water (see Reference 3 and 7) for injection purposes;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST the Government of Alberta implement an immediate reduction schedule on the use of fresh water to the oil and gas industry for the hydro fracturing and water injection process, in all areas of Alberta where fresh water is required for human consumption

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Environment and Water

Alberta Environment and Water has a policy document entitled “Water Conservation and Allocation Policy for Oilfield Injection (2006)” which addresses water conservation for enhanced oil recovery.

The objective of this policy is to improve the conservation and protection of Alberta’s water, and to reduce or eliminate the use of fresh water resources for oil field injection.
This policy is being reviewed in 2012 for updating and inclusion of water allocation and conservation issues for all upstream oil and gas water uses (shale gas, tight oil, coalbed methane, thermal in-situ recovery, etc.) and to address water use in multi-stage hydraulic fracturing.

Industry is already moving towards proportionately more use of saline waters for oil field injection, particularly in areas of limited fresh water supply. The 2012 policy review, in conjunction with the natural resource ministries review of the existing regulatory framework for unconventional oil and gas, and ongoing technological improvements, will provide the context for better water management planning to minimize, if not eliminate, the use of fresh water for oil field injection.

Alberta Energy

The government’s Provincial Energy Strategy asserts that Alberta’s energy future
will properly account for cumulative effects on the environment and impacts on
water. The strategy commits to developing and deploying technologies for water
use efficiency, groundwater protection, and beneficial re-use. Industry has
already taken action and is moving toward using proportionately more saline water
than fresh water in oil field injection, particularly in areas where fresh water supply
is limited.

Further, Alberta Environment and Water’s 2006 policy document, Water
Conservation and Allocation Policy for Oilfield Injection, supports the conservation
and management of water. The policy’s objective is to reduce or eliminate the use
of fresh water resources in oilfield injection. A review of this policy in 2012 will
update it to include water allocation and conservation issues for upstream oil and
gas water uses (i.e., shale gas, tight oil, coalbed methane, thermal in-situ
recovery, etc.). The review will also address water use in multi-stage hydraulic
fracturing.

Alberta’s current regulatory framework for oil and gas development provides a
solid foundation for reducing fresh water use. A review of the existing regulatory
framework for unconventional oil and gas, as well as ongoing technological
improvements used by industry, will allow for stronger water management
planning. In summary, government and industry are already taking steps toward
reducing or eliminating the use of fresh water in oilfield injection.

If your staff have any questions, please contact Mr. Derek Volker, Resource Policy
Analyst, Environment and Resource Services Branch at 780-638-4645 or
derek.volker@gov.ab.ca.__

Grade: Accept the Response

Comments

ASBs are satisfied with this response. They will continue to follow the developments in technology and the review of the regulatory framework regarding this issue.

ASBs note that a similar resolution was passed at the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMD&C) Convention and that both groups should work together to continue to follow up on this issue.

Resolution 12-12: Sale of Sustainable Resource Development Lease Lands

DEFEATED AT THE 2012 PROVINCIAL CONFERENCE

WHEREAS many long term Grazing Lease disposition holders have invested time and money improving Sustainable Resource Development Grazing leases, based on the terms and conditions of agreements that were originally in place, or that came as a result of policies developed in the early 1980s;

WHEREAS disposition holders rightfully anticipated that these improvements would benefit their farm businesses in the long term because they would, at a future date, be allowed to purchase their leased land for a fair market price as assessed on unimproved value, and without competition;

WHEREAS Grazing Lease disposition holders had reasonable assurance that they would have priority of purchase rights when the land was converted to Farm Development Leases or made available for sale;

WHEREAS policy changes in the late 1980s amended/rescinded earlier public land sales criteria, and this continues to have a negative impact on a number of long term disposition holders who made improvements (as encouraged by the Province) on their leases prior to policy changes;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that Sustainable Resource Development review their current land lease / sale policies to ensure that long term disposition holders be allowed to purchase leased lands at prices assessed on unimproved values, and that they are not disadvantaged by a lack of recognition for development costs and improvements on leased land, by the requirement for competition in the sale process. All leaseholders should be compensated for improvement done to the lease incurred at their own expense.

Resolution 13-12: Liability on Sustainable Resource Development Lease Lands

WHEREAS the province (Alberta Sustainable Resource Development) requires that Agricultural Leaseholders provide access to recreational users on leased lands. This includes Grazing and Farm Development Leaseholders, who are required to provide “reasonable” access to the land for recreation;

WHEREAS the province requires that leaseholders provide an explanation of their rationale for denying access to the recreational users, and if disputed, SRD may issue an access order requiring the leaseholder to allow access;

WHEREAS leaseholders are required to provide access to recreational users, even if livestock are present, and the onus is on the leaseholder to prove the livestock are/may be impacted by the recreational users;

WHEREAS the leaseholder cannot deny access even if, in his opinion, the fire risk is too high;

WHEREAS the leaseholder cannot restrict the number of people who can access the lease;

WHEREAS the leaseholder may be held liable if recreational users become injured while engaged in activities on the leased lands;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that the Province of Alberta (Sustainable Resource Development) review their policies concerning liability on leased lands, to ensure that leaseholders are not held liable for any injury or property damage resulting from the activities of recreational users while on leased land. Further, the Province should hold all liability on leased land where access is granted at the discretion of the Province, not the leaseholder.

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development The Recreational Access Regulation (RAR) was developed to balance the needs of grazing and farm development leaseholders who need to protect their leased land and livestock while allowing recreational users reasonable access to their leased land. Under the regulation leaseholders may deny permission for recreational access under certain circumstances. The department recommends that agricultural leaseholders obtain their own legal advice regarding their legal risks and liability arising from regulated recreational access on agricultural leases.

In Alberta, liability for recreational users on agricultural dispositions is governed by the Occupier’s Liability Act. There are two levels of “duty of care” – that which a landowner owes to an invited “visitor” and that which the landowner owes to a “trespasser.” Under the Act, when a recreational user accesses an agricultural disposition, they enter at their own risk because they have the same legal protections as a trespasser under the Act. Respect for all users of public land would suggest that leaseholders should identify hazards on the land that are known to them. For example, the leaseholder may want to notify all users of any hidden or obscured dangers such as excavations, cutbanks, and unconventional fences that may be on the property. It is sound practice that agricultural producers carry liability insurance for both private and public land. Leaseholders are encouraged to consult their insurance and legal advisors to address their specific situation. For more information on the Occupier’s Liability Act or the Recreational Access Regulations please visit http://www.qp.alberta.ca/570.cfm

Grade: Incomplete

Comments

ASBs feel that ESRD did not address this resolution. The resolution asked for ESRD to review their policies regarding liability in regards to recreational users and that ESRD should hold the liability for all recreational users where access is granted at the discretion of the Province.

ASB members understand that it is a good practice to carry liability insurance for both private and public land that they occupy but still feel strongly that the Province should accept liability for recreational users on public lands. They commented that the leaseholder and landowner should be exempt from any legal actions from visitors and trespassers on their lands, should any incident occur. ASBs also feel that ESRD needs to do more awareness and education of public land users to make them aware of their rights and responsibilities on public grazing and forest lands and that more enforcement in these areas is required to ensure appropriate use.

ASBs feel that it is not practical to be able to identify and notify users of all the hazards that may be located on a piece of leased land. The definition of what is a “hazard” would vary by individual leaseholders. Notification would also be extremely difficult as leaseholders are not always aware of who is entering onto their lease and where they could be entering from.

Resolution 14-12: Short term solid manure storage

DEFEATED AT THE 2012 ASB PROVINCIAL CONFERENCE

WHEREAS weather conditions and other mitigating factors make offsite short term solid manure storage a necessary component of confined feeding operations;

WHEREAS municipalities have an opportunity to make comment to the NRCB during the application and approval process for new and expanding CFO’s, however, the identification of short term solid manure storage sites is not part of this process;

WHEREAS short term solid manure storage guidelines are addressed in the Agriculture Operations Practices Act Regulations;

WHEREAS short term solid manure storage sites may meet all the guidelines of the AOPA Regulations, however, these areas may not be in the best interest of the Municipality;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) amend the Agricultural Operations Practices Act(AOPA) to make the identification of short term solid manure storage sites an application and approval process for new, expanding and existing CFOs.

Resolution 15-12: Recycling Program for Agricultural Plastics

WHEREAS safe and responsible disposal of agricultural plastics (eg. grain bags and twine) are becoming more of an issue for farmers and ranchers

WHEREAS these producers wish to be environmentally responsible

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST That Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development establish a program to recycle agricultural plastics similar to the Empty Pesticide Container Recycling Program.

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Alberta Environment and Water

NOTE: Response was the same from both departments

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) and Alberta Environment and Water (AEW) recognize that agricultural plastic use is increasing, especially grain bags, and concern over managing it as waste is rising in Alberta. Both ministries are working jointly to scope the issue and collect data on how agricultural plastics are managed in Alberta to help inform future policy options on the issue. A preferred model or approach to waste management has not been identified and both departments agree that more Alberta-specific data is needed before any recommendations are made. ARD is funding the cost of two surveys to collect data, which will be completed by fall 2012, targeting agricultural producers and municipal waste authorities. It is too soon to tell if the Empty Pesticide Container Recycling Program is the best option for Alberta. Alberta’s program for pesticide containers is a voluntary initiative funded by industry and managed by CleanFarms.

In addition to the joint work with AEW, ARD is independently working with various municipalities to coordinate agricultural plastic roundup days to educate producers about the processes of preparing plastics for recycling.

A recycling facility currently exists in Hussar, Alberta that accepts sheet plastic and a market exists in the United States for twine. As government works to collect information on the issue, AEW and ARD encourage agricultural producers to use these current recycling markets (when and where appropriate) to dispose of their waste agricultural plastic.

Grade: Accept the Response

Comments

ASBs commented that they were satisfied with the current study that is being undertaken to determine and understand the current situation in Alberta and the work that is being done to find a recycling solution for agricultural plastics. They recognize that there is a need to do surveys and other background work before solutions can be developed.

ASBs feel that this needs to be a provincial program and that industry needs to be involved in any solution that is developed. Several municipalities have been working with their waste transfer stations and recycling organizations to do pilot projects for recycling agricultural plastics but would like to see this work expanded to a provincial scale.

Resolution 16-12: Funding for Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA) Member Groups

WHEREAS these groups are being encouraged and expected to provide more extensive and intensive support for local agricultural producers;

WHEREAS funding sources have been limited and fragmented for these groups;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that the Government of Alberta provide stable and appropriate funding to the ARECA member groups to allow them to maintain staff and pursue longer term strategic planning.

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Agricultural and Rural Development

The Agriculture Opportunity Fund (AOF) has provided stable funding to ARECA member organizations since 2003 when the fund was established. The AOF has $1.5 million dollars it allocates annually to ARECA member organizations. ARECA member organizations have also been able to access an additional $450,000 in environmental component funding for the past two years bringing the total annual funding to $1.95 million dollars. These funds are approved on a three year basis. ARECA member organizations are able to plan their activities on a three year cycle because the base grant and environmental component dollars do not change over the course of the three year grant agreement.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) appreciates the contribution that ARECA member organizations make to the province and has recognized their contribution by providing them with additional funding. Additional funding that has been provided in the past six years: $1.5 million dollar grant to support capital funding $700,000 AESA grant to support environmental projects $300,000 Extension grant to support improvements in how ARECA and its members deliver extension programming. $1.3 million dollars to enhance their capacity to deliver on all their programs. Specifically to help maintain staff through compensation, training and program delivery. $700,000 to supplement the first $1.3 million dollars to increase capacity and program delivery.

These grants have been made available because of the excellent work that ARECA and its members provide in rural Alberta and we look forward to continuing this support.

Grade: Accept the Response

Comments

ASBs accepted that funding for ARECA groups is now more stable with the change to a three year grant agreement but they would like to ensure that consistent funding is available to them on a long term basis.

ASBs commented that the current level of funding is inadequate and that these groups need to receive an increase in funding.

Resolution E1-12: Agricultural Pests Act Review

WHEREAS the Agricultural Pests Act is currently being reviewed by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development;

WHEREAS other government ministries have requested that Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development consider adding additional non-agricultural invasive species to the Agricultural Pests Act;

WHEREAS Agricultural Service Boards want to maintain responsibility to enforcement for only agricultural pests under the Agricultural Pests Act;

WHEREAS Agricultural Service Boards want to ensure that responsibility for enforcing the Agricultural Pests Act for other non-agricultural pests lies with the government ministry that requested the addition of that pest to the Act;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that the Agricultural Pests Act review process include the option of adding different Government Ministries to administer parts of the Act not covered by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. In the event that this change is implemented, non-agricultural pests including terrestrial, aquatic and semi aquatic pests and their administration will fall under Sustainable Resource Development or Alberta Environment.

Status: Provincial

Response

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) is consulting with both Sustainable Resource Development and Environment and Water on this option as the APA is being reviewed. Although advancement has been slow, some progress has occurred and ARD will continue to push hard for this option to be included in the revised Act.

Alberta Environment and Water

Alberta Environment and Water recognizes that there are risks to Alberta’s natural resources and infrastructure from non-agricultural invasive species (primarily aquatic and semi-aquatic pests), and that these risks are not dealt with under the current Agricultural Pests Act. Discussions around appropriate regulatory frameworks for agricultural and non-agricultural pests and invasive species should continue between the Agricultural Service Boards, the Interdepartmental Invasive Alien Species Working Group, and interested stakeholders. These discussions would help to address concerns around roles and responsibilities, resourcing, and implementation for successful prevention and/or management of all agricultural and non-agricultural pest species.

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development There is currently no stand alone legislation that covers the specific control and management of invasive species in Alberta. This means that other existing legislation, like the Agricultural Pests Act should be examined for its potential to provide support for measures that may be used to control and manage some invasive species. This resolution may be associated with concerns about other invasive species that have been discussed at meetings of the Interdepartmental Invasive Alien Species Working Group. The membership of this working group has discussed possibilities to address a broader range of invasive species using provincial laws such as the Agriculture Pests Act or through the creation of new legislation. Sustainable Resource Development suggests that new invasive species listings or legislation to address invasive species would need to consider the impact of the listing(s), including which agency/agencies would be responsible for the legislation. Please contact my office if you have any further questions.

Alberta Transportation

As a member of the Interdepartmental Invasive Alien Working Group, Alberta Transportation concurs that there is a gap in how invasive species are currently managed in Alberta.

We agree with the resolution that a review of the Agricultural Pests Act should include the option of adding different government ministries to administer parts of the Agricultural Pests Act not covered by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. This would help address non-agricultural pests, including terrestrial, aquatic and semi-aquatic invasive species.


Alberta Transportation recommends one refinement to the resolution. The resolution states that the government ministry requesting the addition of a pest of the Act shall have the responsibility for enforcing the Act for that pest. We propose rather that each department managing land should be responsible for enforcing the Act for any pest that occurs on that land, regardless of which department requested the addition of that species to the Act.

The addition of non-agricultural invasive species to the Agricultural Pests Act would strengthen the effectiveness of the control of all invasive species in Alberta, and is supported by Alberta Transportation.

Grade: Accept in Principle

Comments

ASBs feel that it is important for other government departments to work together for the management of invasive species and that it is important that each government department have individual responsibility for enforcing different sections of the Act if additional invasive species are added to it. ASBs will continue to follow the progress of this Act as it is being reviewed.

Resolution E2-12: Compound 1080 Review by Pest Management Regulatory Agency

WHEREAS Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) initiated a Special Review of Compound 1080 under Section 17(1) of the Pest Control Products Act on December 23, 2011;

WHEREAS livestock producers in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan have used Compound 1080 safely for decades to control problem coyotes as part of their Integrated Pest Management Plan;

WHEREAS the removal of any one part of an Integrated Pest Management Plan only weakens the entire plan;

WHEREAS Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD) holds the registration for Compound 1080, and through licensing and careful monitoring in collaboration with the employees of the ASBs, ensures public safety and reduces the risks to non-target species while reducing the predation losses of livestock;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that the Provincial ASB Committee lobby PMRA to maintain the current registration and usages of Compound 1080 for its use in the reduction of coyote predation in Alberta.

FURTHER THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that Agriculture and Rural Development’s Minister and Regulatory Services Division contact PMRA regarding Special Review REV2100-06, supporting their present registration of Compound 1080.

Status: Provincial

Response

Pest Management Regulatory Agency

In consideration of the comments received speaking to the critical need to maintain access to predator control products, the PMRA will consider any additional information you may wish to submit that is relevant to the scope of this special review of compound 1080. If you plan to submit additional information, please include a summary description of the supporting materials and an index if multiple documents are provided. A copy of all supporting documentation must also be attached to the submission.

Please submit any additional information for the review of compound 1080 as one package no later than May 31, 2012 and address correspondence to the attention of:
Margherita Conti, Director General, Re-evaluation Management Directorate, Pest Management Regulatory Agency, 2720 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9.
Please note that once the special review of compound 1080 is completed, a proposed decision document will be available for public consultation on Health Canada’s website before a final decision is made. The Agricultural Services Board is encouraged to submit any comments they may have regarding the proposed decision during this consultation period as well.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

RSD was advised of this Special Review on December 21, 2011. Upon notification RSD has contacted PMRA and determined the process this review will take. The attached Briefing Note has been submitted and RSD will continue to monitor this matter as it unfolds. Once a decision is made PMRA will seek input from the registrants (ARD and Sask Environment).

Briefing Note: On December 19, 2011, Alberta was notified that Health Canada’s Pest
Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) was initiating a “Special Review” on Compound 10-80. This review was triggered at the request of a member of the general public pertaining to the risk associated to non-target species when 10-80 is used as bait. Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment are the only two registrants for this toxicant in Canada. ARD uses this toxicant as a last resort in our Coyote Predation Control Program and only when all other management controls have failed. ARD’s registered formulations consist of a solid tablet (used in bait) and a liquid contained within a Toxic Collar (used on livestock). The Coyote Predation Control Program is administered by ARD and delivered through the County’s Agricultural Fieldman. PMRA advises that they will review current mitigation measures relating to potential exposure of non-target species when using these baits to determine whether the environmental risks continue to be acceptable. Once the review has been completed, a proposed decision will be available for public consultation before a final decision is made. This notification has been posted on the PMRA website and has come to the attention of the Alberta Association of Agricultural Fieldmen (AAAF), who have indicated that they will be preparing an emergent resolution supporting continued use of this product. This resolution will be brought forward at the Agricultural Service Board Convention at the end of January 2012.

RECOMMENDATIONS: ARD monitor this review and should it lead to public consultation, submit supporting documentation for continued registration and use.
I hope that the information provided will assist in your response back to the Ag Service Board Provincial Committee. If you require further clarity please let me know. Thanks.

Grade: Accept in Principle

Comments

ASBs will continue to follow this review as it progresses and provide support to Regulatory Services Division (RSD) as required. 1080 is an important component of an integrated management strategy for predation management and ASBs want to ensure that they have continued access to it.

South Regional Resolution: Special Areas Water Supply Project

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has committed to a 3 year Environmental Assessment of the Special Areas Water Supply Project;

WHEREAS such assessments include potential impact on all municipalities and their current and future agricultural water accessibility and use;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT SOUTHERN ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that the Southern Region ASBs express full support for the Special Areas Water Supply Project, including all offstream water storage, during the Environmental Assessment process.

Response

Alberta Environment

Several Alberta ministries are actively working on developing the Special Areas Water Supply Project. The project is currently at the engineering and environmental stage, conducting the preparation of the information required to move the project through the Environmental Assessment phase.

Once the terms of reference for the Environmental Impact Assessment report have been completed, the report will be prepared for technical review by Alberta Environment and Water, other provincial ministries, the Natural Resources Conservation Board, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Following completion of the technical review, Alberta Environment and Water will submit the report to the Natural Resources Conservation Board, who will make the determination about the project’s status with consideration for the social, economic and environmental implications resulting from the project.

The support of the provincial Agricultural Service Boards for this project reflects the widely held value of this initiative to the Special Areas.

Peace Regional Resolution: AFSC Seeding Intention Dates

WHEREAS the province of Alberta has several distinct agricultural areas, and the dates when seeding is completed may vary significantly between these areas, especially from South to North;

WHEREAS seeding in the Southern areas of the Province is often completed with crops emerged and establishing prior to April 30th, the AFSC deadline to specify seeding intentions and coverage levels for crop insurance;

WHEREAS in the Peace Region, it is exceedingly rare that seeding has commenced by April 30th;

WHEREAS the Southern agricultural producers are often at a distinct advantage due to their crops being established, as it aids in their ability to decide on whether to apply for crop insurance or to elect for higher or lower coverage levels, reducing their risk and if choosing lower coverage levels , reducing their premiums;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE PEACE REGION’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS request the Agricultural Financial Services Corporation change the annual April 30th deadline for the Peace Region to May 20th for producers to apply for crop insurance or make changes to ‘elected options’ from the previous year to allow more equitable coverage and choices to be made by our producers.

Response

Agriculture Financial Services Corporation

Thank you for your 2011 resolution regarding AFSC seeding intention dates and your request to change the annual deadline to May 20 for Peace Region producers. The April 30th deadline to apply for crop insurance or make changes to elected options is in place to spread the risk of insuring equally between the clients and AFSC. This deadline is set before clients can predict with some certainty what the growing conditions will be. If the deadline was moved out further, many clients would be able to evaluate the quality of their crop stand and may decide to accept the risk themselves or insure depending on the loss potential. By committing to insure early in the year, the clients and AFSC share the risk more equally and because of this, premium rate volatility is minimized. AFSC has actually considered making this date earlier; but for now, it remains at April 30th for annual crops. AFSC’s seeding date data shows that on average 93.4 percent of crops are seeded in the province after April 30. In southern Alberta, the majority of seeding is completed after May 1st with only 14% of acres seeded by April 30 . Clients in other parts of the province have no distinct advantage over other clients in the Peace Region in deciding their crop insurance options as on average 6.6% of acres provincially are seeded by April 30th (in the Peace Region 4.8% of acres are seeded by April 30th). AFSC’s data shows that over 64% of acres in the Peace Region have been seeded by May 20th. Extending the annual deadline to May 20th for Peace Region producers would increase the risk of clients deciding to insure based on loss potential in that area. Having two different deadlines in the province would create less sharing of risk among clients and premium rates would need to increase with a later deadline to reflect the added risk. AFSC will continue to be flexible with crop seeding deadlines if inclement weather delays spring seeding. In the past two years, AFSC has extended the seeding deadline for many crops when wet weather prevented planting. I recognize the importance of the Peace Region to AFSC and to crop production in the province. Thank you for bringing this issue forward for consideration.